Tech Times reported on May 18, 2016 that BitTorrent named two new co-Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), who will spearhead the company’s plans to launch its live streaming service, “BitTorrent Live.” The company was quick to follow through with an actual launch of the multichannel over-the-top (OTT) application for OSx devices on July 21.
On Jan. 26, after six months of waiting, BitTorrent finally releases BitTorrent Live for Android in the Google Play Store, though it seems that the initial Android release does not support all Android devices and the application’s future is bleak.
“Powered by our proprietary and patented peer-to-peer live streaming protocol, BitTorrent Live allows for large audiences to view live video with sub 10-second latency and without the need for an expensive CDN or pre-provisioning,” the company explained in its initial announcement for the service.
The application currently hosts a limited number of non-mainstream channels but BitTorrent promises to add more, including subscription-based, ad-supported, and pay-per-view channels. If it succeeds, BitTorrent Live could really give popular streaming sites a run for their money, especially since the concept and execution are promising and some tech experts even thought that the service could be a game changer in streaming service.
Then the troubles began to plague the company soon after its launch.
One of the co-CEOs the company hired in May specifically for its live streaming service was fired in early October and its Los Angeles production studio for BitTorrent Now was shut down. This prompted the media to speculate that all streaming services from BitTorrent are already on the brink of shutting down but the company denied this and stressed that the available platforms will not see any change.
BitTorrent also kept mum about speculations that the company lost a huge amount of money on BitTorrent Now and that there had been a widespread termination of employees.
BitTorrent Live’s Android release certainly supports the company’s claim that there’s no trouble for its streaming services but experts cannot shake off the idea that the applications would be short-lived if the company’s internal turmoil continues.
PC World tested the Android version of the BitTorrent Live app and claims that it lives up to its promise of fast streaming that starts immediately upon tapping a specific content. However, not everyone is pleased with the app.
The application has been in the Google Play Store for a couple of days already but it has yet to pick up on downloads and installs and the reviews are at 50-50 with some users enjoying the app while others find it somewhat lacking. As of Jan. 28, the app has only received a 2.6 star user rating, with only one user giving it a five star rating while others ranged from one to three stars.
It is now a question of whether the Android crowd is more difficult to please or the company’s internal troubles have finally begun to affect its services. One thing is for sure: if BitTorrent doesn’t find a way to resolve its issues, its streaming services may just suffer and vanish all too soon
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